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UFC: No Contract Renewal for Roger Gracie


After a lackluster UFC debut, decorated submission grappler Roger Gracie is no longer with the promotion. The towering middleweight entered the UFC with a 6-1 record in MMA and a long list of world championships in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After what looked to be a draining weight cut down to the 185 lb. limit, Gracie looked out of sorts against fellow Strikeforce-import Tim Kennedy. The three round affair started out well for him, as he achieved back mount early in the opening round and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Kennedy was able to escape the submission attempt, and went on to control the remainder of the fight. Gracie seemed to tire greatly in the closing rounds, and he never put forward any real threat of finishing the fight off of his back.

It was revealed that Gracie’s debut at UFC 162 was the last of his 4-fight Zuffa contract (the other three fight occurring under the Strikeforce banner), and the UFC has decided against entering back into negotiations. Gracie’s 6’4” frame makes him quite large for the middleweight division, and based on his most recent showing a move back to light heavyweight is likely.

Gracie ends his UFC career with a 4-2 record in Zuffa-owned promotions. Despite their success in the early days of the sport, it has been almost a decade since a member of the Gracie family has had their hand raised in the octagon. Roger’s loss made him the 4th Gracie family member to face defeat during that span, and the last Gracie UFC win came back in 1994, as Royce Gracie defeated Dan Severn via triangle-choke to claim the UFC 4 tournament championship.